standing in the doorway to scientific progress

First Guy — So then, did you hear about this guy from Georgia?

Second Guy — Which guy from Georgia?

First Guy — Him, the guy that’s opposed to human-jellyfish hybrids.

Third Guy — The fuck?

First Guy — Kirby, that’s his name. Tom Kirby. He’s in the Georgia legislature, if you can believe it. Says the people of Georgia are opposed to the mixing of human embryos with jellyfish cells to create glow-in-the-dark humans.

Second Guy — He wouldn’t be a Republican, this Kirby fella, would he?

First Guy — He would.

Third Guy — Can they do that? Can they, the science johnnies? Jam some jellyfish muck into a human embryo and create a…

First Guy — Pffft, don’t be an idjit.

Second Guy — Would this be the same nitwit who wondered if a woman could swallow a wee camera and let doctors do a gynecological exam over them internets?

First Guy — No, that nitwit is from Idaho. Also a Republican, though.

Third Guy — Be cool, though, wouldn’t it, if they could. Totally cool. Except for the poor bastard who was out there glowin’ in the dark like some fuckin’ human exit sign.

Second Guy — This wouldn’t be the same nitwit who said parents with sick children shouldn’t be forced to get them medical treatment, would it? The one who said if the children die they’d be with god and all his bright angels?

First Guy — No, that’s an entirely different nitwit. Also from Idaho, though. And yeah, a Republican.

Third Guy — His electricity bills would go down, though, wouldn’t they. The human jellyfish, I mean. Wouldn’t need a readin’ lamp, would he. Be handy for him, though, if he was one of them guys, the ones who explore caves and all? Them plunkers or whatever? Handy for that, glowin’ in the dark.

Second Guy — Would it be the same nitwit who thinks cancer is some class of fungus, then?

First Guy — No, that nitwit is from Nevada. Also a Republican, though.

Third Guy — He’d be rubbish as a ninja, though, wouldn’t he.

Second Guy — Would it be the same nitwit, then, the one who thought food workers shouldn’t be forced to wash their hands after using the toilet?

First Guy — No, that nitwit is from North Carolina. And yeah, before you ask, also a Republican.

Third Guy — D’ya reckon he’d be able to sting folks too, this guy, the human jellyfish? Tentacle-thingies at the ends of his fingers. Make it hard to be wearin’ gloves. And countin’ out change? Or playin’ at cards? Screw everything up, that would.

First Guy — Will you shut the fuck up? There isn’t any human jellyfish. There aren’t any glow-in-the-dark humans.

Third Guy — No, and there won’t be so long as your man in Georgia keeps standin’ in the doorway of scientific fuckin’ progress.

Editorial note: The aforementioned nitwits, in order, are Tom Kirby of Georgia, Vito Barbieri of Idaho, Christie Perry of Idaho, and Thom Tillis of North Carolina.

case closed

When Rudy Giuliani announces that he’s about to say something horrible, you can count on it being really horrible. He knows what he’s talking about. He says horrible things pretty often. If you seriously want to be good at saying horrible things, you have to be willing to commit, to devote the hours of practice required. Rudy has put in the hours.

“I know this is a horrible thing to say, but I do not believe that this President loves America. He doesn’t love you. He doesn’t love me. He wasn’t brought up the way you were brought up and I was brought up.”

President Obama doesn’t love Rudy Giuliani. In his mind, that’s pretty much the same thing as not loving America. I mean, he’s Rudy Nine-Eleven, after all. He’s America’s Mayor. Rudy Giuliani, America — no difference. And that’s because Rudy G. was brought up in the right way

America-loving American Rudy Guiliani in America

America-loving American Rudy Giuliani in America

Barack Obama, on the other hand, was brought up in the wrong way. And because of that, Obama doesn’t love America. Here’s the problem, according to Rudy G (and really, I’m not making this up at all — he actually said this):

“The ideas that are troubling me and are leading to this come from communists with whom he associated when he was nine years old.”

That’s right, when Obama was nine years old he was associating with communists. Nine. Years. Old. When Obama was nine he was living in Indonesia — and you guys, Indonesia is not America. It’s just not. A year or so later, when Obama was living in Hawaii, he met a friend of his grandfather — a guy named Frank Marshall Davis, who just happened to be a poet. a labor organizer, and maybe even an actual member of the actual Communist Party.

Therefore, Obama doesn’t love America.

America-hating Maybe-Communist Frank M. Dave in Hawaii (not quite America)

America-hating Maybe-Communist Frank M. Davis in Hawaii (not quite America)

Rudy Giuliani, on the other hand, totally loves America. Did Rudy’s grandfather ever introduce him to a communist poet labor organizer? No sir, he did not. Rudy was raised by Americans. Decent law-abiding Americans living in America.

Well, okay, Rudy’s uncle Leo may not have been entirely decent or law-abiding. There was that unfortunate loan-sharking and gambling operation Leo D’Avanzo ran out of a bar in Brooklyn, but c’mon, it’s not like his grandfather had a friend who might have been a communist, right? And yeah, okay, maybe Rudy’s daddy Harold might have worked as muscle for Uncle Leo, collecting bad debts through the judicious use of a baseball bat. What’s more American than a baseball bat? And yeah, maybe Rudy G’s daddy also did eighteen months in Sing Sing for robbing a milkman with a gun, but hey at least Sing Sing is in America, and it was probably an American-made gun. And yeah, sure, okay, maybe Rudy’s cousin Lewis ran a car theft ring and was shot dead in 1977 when he tried to run over an FBI agent, but those were stolen American cars, made in Detroit. What could be more American than a Detroit-built car? And that FBI agent he tried to run over? He was as American as can be.

America-hating President of Communist America Barack Obama of Kenya

America-hating President of Communist America Barack Obama of Kenya

Rudy Giuliani’s whole entire family is all about America. And Barack Obama? His granddaddy knew a goddam commie. Do you really need to ask who loves America the most? I think not.

Case closed.

dude, c’mon. alabama

— I don’t understand what’s going on in Alabama.

— That’s okay. The people of Alabama don’t always understand what’s going on in Alabama. Nobody has ever quite understood what’s going on in Alabama. When Hernando de Soto first passed through the area, the Choctaw Indians who lived there are quoted as saying “Who the hell ARE these people. What the hell are they up to? We just don’t understand.”

— I mean this whole same-sex marriage thing. What’s up with that?

— Oh, right, that. Well, back in 2006 Alabama added a Sanctity of Marriage Amendment to their State Constitution.

— What’s a Sanctity of Marriage Amendment? What does it do?

— It said marriage was “a sacred covenant, solemnized between a man and a woman.” It basically told same-sex couples they could go fuck themselves.

— Really?

— Yeah. Well, no…not literally. I mean, it’s only been about seven months…yeah, that’s right, months…that Alabama’s anti-sodomy law was finally kicked to the curb. Alabama law doesn’t much like gay folks. The Chief Justice of the Alabama Supreme Court thinks gay sex is icky. Back in 2002 he wrote a legal opinion saying homosexuality was “a crime in Alabama, a crime against nature, an inherent evil, and an act so heinous that it defies one’s ability to describe it.”

Chief Justice Roy Moore of the Alabama Supreme Court -- thinks gay sex is icky.

Chief Justice Roy Moore of the Alabama Supreme Court — thinks gay sex is icky.

— Lawdy. Defies one’s ability to describe it? You know, it’s really not that hard to describe gay sex.

— I know, right? Anyway, a couple weeks ago a federal judge said the Sanctity of Marriage Amendment was unconstitutional, and Alabama couldn’t use it to deny a marriage license to same-sex couples.

— Oh, well that should settle it, right?

— Dude, c’mon. This is Alabama. The Chief Justice of the Alabama Supreme Court told the federal court it could go fuck itself. Again, not literally. On account of that would be icky, and all that.

— Can the Chief Justice of anyplace actually do that?

— Nope.

— Is that the same Chief Justice who wrote that earlier opinion?

— It surely is. He’s a yahoo named Roy Moore. He told the folks who issue marriages licenses at the county offices to ignore the federal court ruling. Told them they should refuse to issue licences to same-sex couples.

— They ought to kick that guy out of office.

— They actually did. Back in 2003. Kicked his ass right out of office.

Jusge Roy Moore with two-and-a-half tons of Commandments

Judge Roy Moore with two-and-a-half tons of Commandments

— Because of the gay thing?

— Nope. It was another thing. Judge Moore commissioned a two-and-a-half ton monument to the Ten Commandments, which he put in the central rotunda of the Alabama Supreme Court.

— That’s pretty much a violation of the separation of church and state, isn’t it?

— Pretty much.

— So what happened?

— Somebody sued. A federal judge said the monument had to be removed. Judge Moore told the judge to go fuck himself.

— Not literally.

— No, not literally. Anyway, Moore refused to remove the monument, and eventually an Alabama judiciary commission booted his ass out of office.

— But he’s back now? He’s the Chief Justice of the Alabama Supreme Court again?

— Yep. Again.

— Why? How?

— Dude, c’mon. Alabama.

— Right. Okay, so what’s going to happen?

— Damned if I know. Some Alabama counties are issuing marriage license to same-sex couple, some are refusing to issue licences to same-sex couples, some have stopped issuing marriage licenses to anybody.

Alabama couple refused a license to marry

Alabama couple refused a license to marry

— That doesn’t make any sense, does it?

— Nope.

— That judge, Moore…he’s going to lose again, isn’t he? Eventually?

— Almost certainly. He might be able to drag this fuss out until later in the year when the U.S. Supreme Court issues a final ruling about same-sex marriage. But yeah, he’s almost certainly going to lose. Again.

Alabama couple granted a license to marry

Alabama couple granted a license to marry

— So he’s causing all this trouble and confusion because of some religious principle?

— That’s what he says. The Bible, and all that.

— But the Bible isn’t the law. The Ten Commandments aren’t the law.

— Nope.

— I mean, there’s all that coveting business. We’re pretty much free to covet whatever the hell we want in America, aren’t we?

— Pretty much.

— I mean, this is America. We’re all about coveting, aren’t we.

— Totally about the coveting.

— So why is all this happening?

— Dude, c’mon. It’s Alabama.

UPDATE 9/27/2017

— I see your boy Roy Moore is back.

— Not my boy, but yeah. Year and a half later and he’s back. Just won the Republican primary to run for the United States Senate representing the great state of Alabama.

— So what happened back then about that gay marriage business?

—  Glad you asked. A couple of months later Moore was suspended from the Alabama Supreme Court for the second time.

— So that settled that.

— You’d think. But nope. Moore told the Alabama Judicial Inquiry Commission to go fuck itself.

— Not literally, right?

— Right. He sued them. Said it was unconstitutional to suspend him from the court just on account of he refuse to obey the law.

— You’re making that up, right?

— Nope. But then a couple of months after that, same sex marriage became legal everywhere. Including in Alabama.

— Right. So that settled everything, right?

— Dude, c’mon. It’s Alabama. Moore’s suit against the Judicial Inquiry Whatsit dragged itself on like a damned zombie until just a few months ago. April, 2017. That’s when a special Alabama court told Moore to go fuck himself. No, not literally. They upheld his suspension.

— Suspension.

— Bingo. He wasn’t kicked off the court this time. He was just suspended from ever sitting at the bench and hearing a case or doing anything remotely supreme courtish.

— What did Moore do?

— He told the special Alabama court to go fuck itself. He resigned and said he’d run for the U.S. Senate.

— Which he did.

— Which he totally did. And yeah, last night he won the nomination. I think it was the thing with the gun that sealed his win.

— Thing with the gun?

Former judge Roy Moore says hello to his little friend.

— On Monday, the day before the election, Moore was giving a speech and he pulled out a handgun.

— Onstage? Why?

— To show he loves guns. It was just a little silver revolver, kind of a girly gun, but still. Some folks love that stuff.

— So he’s going to be the next United States Senator for Alabama?

— Well, he’ll have to face a Democrat in the next election, but yeah, he’s the Republican nominee.

— Lawdy.

— I know, right?

— But this guy’s completely horrible. He can’t possibly win, can he?

— Dude, c’mon. It’s Alabama.

in which i enrich my life in small ways

There’s a Stop&Rob convenience store about a mile from where I live. I slide in there once or twice a week during my daily walk/bike ride, mainly because they sell these amazingly good freshly-baked chocolate turtle cookies. Or maybe they’re chocolate tortoise cookies. I can never remember, though I know the difference when it comes to the non-baked goods turtles and tortoises. Regardless, they’re spectacularly good and are a nice reward for having taken a walk or a bike ride (by the way, the cookies are NOT made from actual turtles or tortoises, and as far as I can tell have absolutely nothing to do with the Chellonii (which, I’m told, is the proper term, even though I normally just call them Chellonians)).

This afternoon, as I was heading home from my walk, I stopped in for my cookiie. The woman in front of me at the register was all a-fluster. She’d tried to buy some lottery tickets, but had either asked for the wrong species of lottery or the clerk had made an error and printed out the wrong lottery tickets. Either way, she was rejecting the tickets and demanding the clerk give her the tickets she actually meant to purchase.

Things I bought today that will NOT be laundered

Things I bought today that will NOT be laundered

I occasionally buy a lottery ticket along with my cookie. It’s stupid, I know, but it’s not even close to the stupidest thing I do routinely in my daily life. Maybe every couple of months, based on nothing in particular, I’ll buy a ticket. It usually ends up in a shirt or pants pocket, where I only remember it when I’m about to do my laundry. Or, just as often, after I’ve done my laundry.

Lottery tickets, if you weren’t aware, aren’t designed to go through a laundry cycle. It turns them into a strangely compact and totally illegible wad of paper. Now, by my math (and my math, admittedly, is singularly pathetic math, but I’m pretty confident in this), a lottery ticket that’s utterly illegible only slightly reduces your odds of winning — so it’s no great loss if the ticket is laundered. Consider this a public service announcement.

At any rate, the woman had rejected her tickets and the clerk (a young woman with a tattoo on her forearm that appeared to depict a seahorse being ridden by Batman, though I never really got a very good look at it and it seems really unlikely that she’d have a tattoo of Batman riding a seahorse, so I’m probably wrong about this) was clearly baffled as to what she should do. So I offered to buy them.

The idea of buying rejected lottery tickets has a bizarre but powerful appeal. Well, it does to me. I have no idea what bizarre but powerful thing appeals to you (and knowing some of you, it really doesn’t bear thinking about). A rejected lottery ticket has no statistically better chance of winning, but it has a sort of poetic aura of despair and futility that is well worth four American dollars. It’s entirely possible that from now on I will only buy rejected lottery tickets.

So I’m back now from my walk, I’m in the process of eating the cookie, and I’ve set the lottery ticket aside to prevent it from being laundered. I’m feeling stupidly pleased with myself.

UPDATE: Four separate entries consisting of seventeen unique numbers, and not one single number of those seventeen matched any of the winning numbers. In effect, my ticket said “You lose four bucks.”

Still worth it, though.

that’s not a threat — that’s just regulating

You may not be familiar with Tarrant County, Texas. It’s named for Edward H. Tarrant, who made his bones in the 1830s and 40s killing the natives who objected to white folks implementing their perfectly reasonable desire to turn traditional Indian hunting grounds into massive cattle ranches.

Texas 2nd Amendment remedies -- 1830s

Second Amendment remedies — Texas, 1830s

Tarrant and his buddies openly carried firearms everywhere because how else were they supposed to protect all those white folks from the depredations of non-white savages. That fine tradition lives on today in the form of a group calling itself Tarrant County Open Carry. This is a collection of truly extraordinary fuckwits who apparently interpret a well-regulated militia to mean ‘any jackass who wants a firearm.’ As in:

Any jackass who wants a firearm, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.

The ‘open carry’ movement believes American citizens have a constitutional right to openly tote firearms and other weapons wherever they go, whenever they want to go there. Because NOT carrying a firearm everywhere all the time is bascially the same as pissing in Uncle Sam’s hat. Because failure to have a ballistic weapon on your person at all times means you won’t be prepared when Communists and Muslims and Lesbians Gay menfolks (not lesbians, because TCOC likes to watch a bit of girl-on-girl video) attack you. Or your family. Or somebody else.

The Black Panther Party on the steps of the California legislature

Open Carry Black Panthers

That’s the theory. In practice, of course, it doesn’t apply to black folks. Or Muslims. Because those folks, they’re not real Americans.

Any jackass who wants a firearm, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed if you’re white. Oh, and Christian.

I’ve occasionally mentioned these fucking idjits before — how they thought the NRA was too liberal, how the NRA caved in to the open carry nutjobs, how they’re totally against intimidating women, how armed asshattery is qualitatively different from unarmed asshattery, how it can be difficult to distinguish between an open carry advocates and wanna-be mass murderers, how in some municipalities it’s legal to openly carry a real firearm but illegal to carry a pretend weapon, and about how open carry jerk-offs are unable to distinguish between tyranny and criticism.

Responsible open carry advocate

Responsible open carry advocate

Okay, maybe I’ve written about these guys more than occasionally. You know why? Because they’re stupid and belligerent and armed, and that’s not a healthy combination. Witness this guy, Kory Watkins — the bull goose loony of Open Carry Tarrant County.

I know, to the average person it sounds a wee bit like Watkins is issuing a threat here. You know, that bit where he says:

“Going against the Constitution is treason. And my friend, that is punishable by death.”

So this is a guy who is so afraid of the world that he has to tote a firearm with him everywhere he goes. And he says it’s treason NOT to pass a law that permits everybody to openly carry firearms everywhere they go. And he says treason is punishable by death. So you wouldn’t be stepping out on a limb if you thought Watkins’ comment might maybe could be construed as something akin to a threat. Especially considering the fact that not too long ago one member of OCTC, Veronica Dunnachie, shot her husband to death. Oh, and his daughter too. Because hell, once you’ve shot one person there’s not much to stop you from shooting another.

This, of course, was BEFORE she shot her husband and his daughter to death.

This, of course, was BEFORE she shot her husband and his daughter to death.

But that was probably hormonal or something. I mean, she’s a woman, right? They’re emotional and all. You can’t judge an entire group of folks because some of them commit double homicides. Unless they’re black. Or Muslim.

Any jackass who wants a firearm, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed if you’re white. Oh, and Christian. And probably male, just to be safe.

Anyway, Watkins assures us he wasn’t making any sort of threat to those treasonous bastards in the government who are denying decent Texans their Sacred Second Amendment rights. Good gracious, no. Because TCOC, you see, is “a group of peaceful, law-abiding gun owners” who are only trying to educate Americans about their rights under the U.S. Constitution (see above). They’re totally opposed to violence. Totally. In fact. that’s why they carry firearms everywhere they go. You know, to prevent all that violence.

Just like Edward H. Tarrant did back in the 1830s.